Sunday, March 1, 2015


POSTED: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 11:14 AM
Filed Under: Awesome | Phrequency Approved | Pop | Rock

Summer music = awesome music. Here are 10 (yes, 10!) records we’re excited about this summer.

Hot Chip, In Our Heads. The fifth record from the dorkiest cool guys alive, In Our Heads offers more dance-floor bangers and indulgent experimentations, from epic first single “Flutes” to hypnotic b-side “Night and Day.” Described by founding member Joe Goddard as a record inspired by the “epic” maxi-12”’s from the ‘80s, expect extended jams and positive vibes, prefect for summer raging.

POSTED: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 11:13 AM
Filed Under: Indie | Phrequency Approved | Rock
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This Memorial Day weekend, get ready to rage

The true rock star, one could argue, is driven by emotion. He/she writes and performs songs not because he/she wants to…but because he/she needs to. Because for him/her, music is more than just a hobby…it’s a way of interpreting and navigating a complex and overwhelming world.

Of course it makes sense then that every once in a while, the true rock star will crash and burn. Jim Morrison’s infamous 1969 breakdown in Miami is the stuff of legends; as is drama queen Fiona Apple’s NYC meltdown 30 years later. Even Wavves’ Nathan Williams suffered a major freak-out 3 years ago in Barcelona, taking a ton of drugs and fighting with his band on stage in front of thousands, perhaps reacting to the overnight success of his first record, Wavves

POSTED: Monday, October 3, 2011, 2:42 PM
Filed Under: Awesome | Funk | Indie | Pop | Rock

Most commonly known for her tours with The Kills and The Fiery Furnaces, the lovely frontwoman Eleanor Friedberger finally released her solo debut album, Last Summer, in July of 2011. Now, after finishing up her tour dates with The Fiery Furnaces, Friedberger has released the dates for her upcoming fall tour. Luckily, she will be making a stop in Philadelphia at Union Transfer on October 19th.  You can expect to hear a 60’s girl group vibe filled with funk and pop sounds alongside Friedberger’s sultry voice. She will also be accompanied by the Portland, Oregon and Washington, DC based psychedelic-pop girl group, Wild Flag.

Get your tickets here.

POSTED: Friday, September 23, 2011, 12:02 PM

Double Dutch is at it again! Next week it’s resident DJ Gun$ Garcia’s birthday edition and The Barbary will be bringing you yet another awesome all-female line up. The guest of honor is Roxy Cottontail – a New York-based (Maryland-born) artist. Her style is eclectic and effortlessly cool, finding it’s roots in punk, electro, dance, house, hip-hop, reggae and rock.

As always, DJs Gun$ Garcia and Jess Okay will be holding down the dance floor. But that’s not all- it will also be the world premiere of Marissa Dana. Hosted by Phalla, this Double Dutch is guaranteed to be better than ever. So, come enjoy some nail-art by Tout Est Bombe, cotton candy by Miss Pinky Polka Dots and of course, a sick live performance. Don’t forget to look for us either! We’ll be snapping photos all night.

POSTED: Monday, September 12, 2011, 4:22 AM
Filed Under: Alternative | Ambient | Awesome | Reviews | Rock

When Broken Social Scene took the stage on Friday night as openers for TV On The Radio at the Mann Center, the rather large venue was pretty empty. It was empty compared to what they’re used to (they sold out two nights at the TLA last fall), which prompted lead man Kevin Drew to say, “We could have done this at my house,” the moment he walked on stage.

After the band finished “Cause = Time,” a fan seated in the pit section yelled out, “I love you, Kevin Drew.” Drew responded by inviting the fan and his girlfriend up on stage to sit on an amp for the entire set. The two accepted the invitation and could be seen taking photos with their cell phones, even getting a photo with Kevin Drew while he was singing in between them.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 4:18 AM
Filed Under: Alternative | Indie | Rock

Teresa McCullough stopped by The Barbary last night to snag some photos of indie rock rager Tigerbeats with JHN RDN + Luis Angel Cancel.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 11:12 AM
Filed Under: Indie | Phrequency Approved | Rock

Stephen Malkmus, one could argue (if one was into arguing about hipsters)—is the quintessential ‘90s hipster. The former Pavement front man and Jicks leader has, for 2 decades now, charmed indie kids with his unconventional ways, making underemployment, noise rock, and a lack of muscles seem cool. He’s penned some of the most influential records of the decade (at least according to the almighty ‘Fork) and brought new meaning to the work snark. It’s safe to say his reputation precedes him. So how does this influence the songwriter today, who at 45 is now married with 2 children? Listening to the just-released Mirror Traffic, it’s clear: it doesn’t, really. Rather, Malkmus is doing here what he’s always done: writing dense, lyrically complex, sonically inventive tunes that are instantly recognizable as the product of his (brilliantly) frenzied mind.

Mirror Traffic was produced by Beck, who is partially responsible for its breezy feel. (For more on the collaborative process, check out this piece in the NY Times.) Traffic kicks off with playful, 2-minute romp “Tigers,” a wordy, jangly tale of human pugnacity —that transitions seamlessly into the lovely, finger-picked “No One Is (As I Are Be),” a grammatical nightmare that nonetheless yields the very excellent line, “I can not even do one sit-up/ sit-ups are so bourgeoisie.” (Remember what I said about a lack of muscles?) Follower “Senator” is the most in-your-face aggressive tune—a hard-hitting riff on government corruption that is not afraid to drop the word “blowjob.”  “Brain Gallop” sounds exactly how you’d imagine it should, transitioning from midtempo rocker to volatile mess, while “Stick Figures in Love” returns again to blithe, freewheeling pop. At the hands of a less assured artist, these stylistic jumps might feel disjointed—but in the hands of Malkmus, they feel natural, following what must be the capricious front man’s constantly shifting thoughts.

It’s worth noting that Traffic was recorded last summer, right before Pavement’s much-anticipated reunion tour; Malkmus himself has stated it’s possible Pavement-y thoughts filled his brain as a result. Not surprisingly then, Traffic is imbued with a Pavement-approved sense of wry humor, which shines through in Malkmus’s fantastic story-telling. With 15 tracks, Traffic clocks in at 51 minutes, but never feels draggy. And in fact, some of the best songs are hidden at the end—the boisterous, punk-y “Tune Grief,” the jaunty, snappy “Forever 28”, the effortless, breezy “Gorgeous Georgie.” These are tunes that even the casual pop lover can latch on to, with easy-to-digest, radio-friendly melodies. As for the already-converted Malkmus disciple…well, let’s just say Mirror Traffic is the best kind of traffic, period.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 10:25 AM
Filed Under: Phrequency Approved | Pop | Rock
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LA’s Fool’s Gold craft breezy, feel-good, summer pop that combines elements of world music and guitar rock for a result that feels simultaneously fresh and familiar. It’s a combination band members stumbled upon organically: co-founders Luke Top and Lewis Pesacov are both native Israelis who immigrated to America at an early age, and grew up listening to all varieties of tunes. (Top, in an interview with Pitchfork, lists soukous music, East African music, Ethiopian music, Eritrean music, and Touareg desert blues.) Three of the members also logged time in Foreign Born—a group we know for certain is capable of fun, jangly, island rock. Fool’s Gold’s 2009 self-titled debut is a rollicking listen of warm, African-inspired beats and Top’s commanding vocals, sung almost entirely in Hebrew; on sophomore album Leave No Trace, the band makes the switch to English and adds new wave touches—resulting in a more accessible pleaser that still retains the band’s trademark eccentricities.

"Singing in Hebrew on the first record allowed me to find my voice; it helped me to come out of my shell and push myself into letting go, both as a performer and songwriter,” explains Top. On Trace, the evolution is complete; he sounds assured and emotive, alternatively crooning and wailing with ease.

The album was penned this past winter, between Christmas and New Year’s, in Wonder Valley, CA on the edge of the Mojave Desert—a setting that is no doubt reflected in sun-drenched synths and blown-out beats. Still, Trace never feels wistful or melancholy (like so many other desert rock albums); rather it exudes a sort of laidback, earth-y charm that makes it ideal morning listening. (Ignore the flashy, Vegas-style cover art; there’s nothing flashy about these tunes.)

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